Rumford District Court

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Rumford District Court

Post by ValleyGirl on Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:19 pm

After reading both the Sun Journal article and the TRR blog entry about the possible closing of the Rumford District Court, I have the following comments:

1. It's no surprise that TRR accuses Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter of an ulterior, nefarious motive in opposing a closure of the court. However, I fail to follow the logic. TRR states that "the South Paris District Court is only about 20 minutes away in a police car." The two courts may be only 30 or so miles apart, but in my experience the trip takes approximately 40-45 minutes in good driving conditions, and Mapquest results concur. (The "in a police car" phrase seems to indicate that the police can travel more quickly than regular citizens, but it's my impression that police cars are required to follow the speed limit unless responding to an emergency.) So the contention that the two courts aren't really that far away doesn't hold up as far as I'm concerned.

2. TRR then states, "Heaven forbid, they have to go out of their way and drive 20 minutes to
deal with all the seat belt infractions, speeding tickets, broken tail
lights, expired inspection stickers, and mangled license plates that
people fight because their rights were trampled on in the process." This is quite obviously an attempt to fling mud at the RPD, but it also diverts attention from the multitude of other cases handled by the district courts--small claims, family cases, crimes beyond traffic violations, and protection from abuse, and so on. Neither district court is simply a traffic court.

3. This is the most puzzling statement of all: "Chief Carter knows that if his fuel budget goes up, that means less {sic} cops on the street and that is a good thing for us [in] Rumford." I follow this only so far as if the fuel budget goes up, money will have to be cut elsewhere in the police budget, which could mean fewer officers on the street. How would fewer officers be a good thing for Rumford? And why would this be something Chief Carter would want? It's quite clear that there's an accusation here, but what exactly is it?

4. I won't comment on the remainder of the argument, which concerns current police staffing despite the $85,000 budget cut. I didn't follow that story, so I don't know the facts, first of all, and second, it seems like a tangent.

5. As part of an employment, I did much business at both district courts, as well as at other district and superior courts across the state. All of the courts I've dealt with are overburdened. Closing the court in Rumford will only shift the work to South Paris (and here I'm assuming that this is what would happen); it will not reduce the number of cases heard. I don't forsee any significant savings in staff monies because I don't see that the current staff in either location can suddenly handle double the work--they are working to capacity as it is.

6. As for facilities (again assuming Rumford cases would be heard in South Paris), the Rumford court has much more room than the distict court in South Paris. (The district court is in the small building to the right of the large court building. The larger building holds the Registry of Deeds, Superior Court, etc.) When court is in session in South Paris, people are packed tightly into the hallway and entrance, and there are only three small rooms where private discussions can be held. Although the entrance to the clerks' office in Rumford can get crowded, overall there is more space for people at the Rumford courthouse. (I don't know about the number of private rooms/offices, however.)

7. In the commentary of the Sun Journal article, it was mentioned that if cases were to be heard in South Paris, more people would miss their court dates. While this is true, it's a different population I'm concerned about. What happens to impoverished people who are victims or who are otherwise in need of court services? There are a number of people in the many communities served by the courts for whom accessing court services either stretches their resources to the limit or is simply beyond their means. Closing any court will cause a greater burden on those people, not to mention the rest of us. I don't want to have to travel about 2 hours round-trip to access court services, either.

Just my humble opinions . . .

ValleyGirl

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:36 pm

Excellent post! What TRR also misses is that the potential court closing represents $20,000 in lost revenue for the town.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:42 pm

What credibility do either Ron or JSN have after being so very incorrect about First Responder costs? I don't know how they got on the Finance Committee, but I do wish they would get off...

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:24 pm

Well, at least the selectmen would have a place to meet where they didn't have to worry as much about the echo-o-o-o. If you cleared the bench from that riser, the Selectmen's table might just fit (under that large non-threatening picture) Smile. If you take down the rails, there will be enough room for seating. The judge chambers could become the TM office with pleanty of space for Debbie and Terri to have their own office, and there is a vault in there for the sensitive material. The current TM office could be redisignated for another use. Maybe Thelma could come downstairs and share the space with Code Enforcment or the Economic Development Committee.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:29 pm

It would also be easier for the town to install r/c cameras for the live telecast of the meetings.

OOPS, I forgot that the District Attorney's office will also be open. That space could be used for the employee lounge. Smile

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:31 pm

What about the $20,000? Do we charge rent and take it out of the ED fund?

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:33 pm

Be careful on how you use sensitive material without the property way, classification sensitive information store incorrectly would not be good, someone in the office would have to have a clearance of secret or higher to have a safe with this type of material. On the other hand it is call confidential information then your ok.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:46 pm

The Town Clerk has a safe, and her information doesn't require Top Secret security clearances. As the name indicates, it is a place to keep things "safe".

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:51 pm

KevinNSaisi wrote:Well, at least the selectmen would have a place to
meet where they didn't have to worry as much about the echo-o-o-o. If
you cleared the bench from that riser, the Selectmen's table might just
fit (under that large non-threatening picture) Smile.
If you take down the rails, there will be enough room for seating. The
judge chambers could become the TM office with pleanty of space for
Debbie and Terri to have their own office, and there is a vault in there for the sensitive material.
The current TM office could be redisignated for another use. Maybe
Thelma could come downstairs and share the space with Code Enforcment
or the Economic Development Committee.
But you stated the following "there is a vault in there for the sensitive material" and that could be misunderstood in severaul ways

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:11 pm

Vigs,
How does one misunderstand that a safe is a good place to put documents that are not for public viewing (such as personnel records, and other sensitive material)? If one is looking for corruption and secrecy, or wants to believe that such exists, then perhaps one would have secret squirrel fantasies about the highly classified information in the safe/vault and how to gain access to it using plastic explosives, but we are talking about a small town, not the CIA. Wink Smile

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:17 pm

See I notice that everybody states "Small Town" but lets think bigger and come to believe that things can happen here too. Time to think out of the box and realize this is not just a SMALL TOWN.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:21 pm

Okay, LARGE TOWN, but certainly not a CITY.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by dr on Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:08 am

A comment in today's Sun Journal:

Posted By:carey at January 7, 2009 6:51 AM (Suggest Removal)
If Rumford loses its court we will have big finacial losses for the town. We will have loss of revenue of that huge building, we will have overtime as despite TRR's ignorance Farmington is going to be alot longer than 20 minutes no less South Paris or Rumford and what a statement anyways..are our officers only going one way? Are they not staying for court? Since they our outside of the town they will have to fill their slots and that means overtime everytime there is court. More ingnorance we did lose two officers and we only have one active reserve who is a full time game warden. Young officers are running away from Rumford after they get their inital training. What I am very upset about is Norris who sits and writes these fantasies is on several committees of the town of Rumford. How can she make reasonable choices when she is so lost in untruths. Many people want to positively impact this town and will not get on committee's she is involved in. Rumford call your town mananager and ask him why she can write all these mistruths and still be part of boards that effect your immediate future. Ask the town manager if the things she writes about Rumford, Police, Fire, Med-Care are truthful in his view.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:56 am

Could it be the freedom of speech act? No matter if true or false. Thats way we have other board members to make their decision, like the USA it takes more then one person to make this country.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by dr on Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:44 am

From JSN:


Post this DR!!!

In Response to the Union Democrat Perspective...


If Rumford loses its court we will have big finacial losses for the town.


What losses? Provide us with facts, statistics, and anything but drama and emotional rhetoric.



[b][b]We will have loss of revenue of that huge building.
[/b][/b]


We will lose $20,000 in rent but will save in heat, electricity, etc. We could move the Rumford Board of Selectmen down to the court room and close off the auditorium so that we are not heating that extremely large room. Huge savings right there!!!



[b][b]We will have overtime as despite TRR's ignorance Farmington is going to be alot longer than 20 minutes no less South Paris or Rumford and what a statement anyways..are our officers only going one way? Are they not staying for court? Since they our outside of the town they will have to fill their slots and that means overtime everytime there is court.
[/b][/b]


Who cares how far away it is. Whether it is 20 minutes or 30 minutes, it is still close enough to the area that it is not that big of a deal. And, you will not incur more overtime because we will not fill those slots. We will work with Oxford County , Maine State Police, and the surrounding communities to help provide coverage in the Rumford area. The Rumford Police Department wants to live in a bubble and be completely self-sufficient. Times have changed and regionalization of services is the way to go if you want our State to stop falling apart.



[b][b]More ingnorance we did lose two officers and we only have one active reserve who is a full time game warden. Young officers are running away from Rumford after they get their inital training.
[/b][/b]


That was two officers too many. Chief Carter misrepresented himself to the Finance Committee when he did not include himself and his Detective. And, why does Chief Carter have to be an Administrator only. If he is so concerned with our crime levels, why doesn't he get in a police car and get out there and help his "overburdened" police officers. And, if I'm running off police officers after they get their initial training, that is impressive. You are giving me more credit than I deserve. Maybe, they are running off because they are ethical and don't agree with the current practices of the Rumford paramilitary SWAT team Police Department.



[b][b]What I am very upset about is Norris who sits and writes these fantasies is on several committees of the town of Rumford . How can she make reasonable choices when she is so lost in untruths.
[/b][/b]


A fiscally conservative point of view is not fantasties unless you are a Rumford Union Democrat. Sorry, but I am not a rubber stamper. I want facts, statistics, and true justification for a budget as opposed to "Crime is so high" when the FBI crime index says otherwise. I'm sorry but I don't want redundant services which includes the Fire Department chasing ambulances and the Dispatcher who works full-time for the Police Department. While Stacy is sitting in his office, he should be answering the phones and dealing with customers at the window while his officers are patrolling the streets. And, if you are referring to the Med-Care Board, I'm sorry that I did my job and advocated on behalf of the Rumford citizens who don't want a new building and wanted the interlocal agreement changed. My bad. How quickly we forget that the majority of our population are elderly living on fixed incomes and are paying for all these inefficiencies.



[b][b]Many people want to positively impact this town and will not get on committee's she is involved in. Rumford call your town mananager and ask him why she can write all these mistruths and still be part of boards that effect your immediate future.
[/b][/b]


It's not my fault that people don't want to get on Boards because I am a member. I don't believe that statement in the least bit. The people Mr. Carey are referring to are the rubber stampers who know that I am going to call them out for supporting the Union Democrats in this town who are all making a killing off the taxpayer and not providing us with the best service possible. These same people are like Chief Carter, all they can come up with is emotional rhetoric and overdramatization to scare the elderly in our community. Sorry, but public service is supposed to be professional and unlike Rumford, most communities expect justifications for their budgets backed up with facts and statistics. Too bad we have a bunch of Department Heads that got hired under the old regime. Rumford has a serious case of cronyism going on. People got hired for positions that they were not qualified for. Why is it that Wayne Gallant did not get the Chief of Police position anyways? He was far more qualified than Stacy Carter.



[b][b]Ask the town manager if the things she writes about Rumford, Police, Fire, Med-Care are truthful in his view.
[/b][/b]


The Town Manager does not always agree with me but he respects my points of view. Thank you very much.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Timeout on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:03 pm

DR, since you are in close communication with JSN, ask her to provide specifics on cost savings.

Operational costs: What is the operational cost per square foot to run the town hall? i.e., cost for heating, electric and cleaning, building maintenance and insurances? I worked several years in a property management firm in Portland's Old Port as a bookkeeper, admin and maintenance coordinator. The firm renovated and managed 13 commercial buildings. You may be surprised to find we are making money on the rent.

Transportation: How many miles it is to Oxford or another courthouse? So we're talking mileage, fuel expense, employee hours, shift coverage/scheduling, vehicle maintenance, etc. I've worked for several years in transportation and have done the scheduling and budgeting to run the Transporation Department at Sunday River. These costs in will result tremendous impact on the RPD budget.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:14 pm

Remember Timeout that is Sunday River, lets go bigger scale. Losing this court is NOT good and I know where your coming from and you did a great job for them when you where there. One person viewing her comments and suggestion and yes I am talking about JSN will not make the final decision to close the courts. We all need to look into this and fight what is right and help out this town before we lose it.

Sorry but that's how I see it.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by dr on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:35 pm

Timeout wrote:DR, since you are in close communication with JSN, ask her to provide specifics on cost savings.

Operational costs: What is the operational cost per square foot to run the town hall? i.e., cost for heating, electric and cleaning, building maintenance and insurances? I worked several years in a property management firm in Portland's Old Port as a bookkeeper, admin and maintenance coordinator. The firm renovated and managed 13 commercial buildings. You may be surprised to find we are making money on the rent.

Transportation: How many miles it is to Oxford or another courthouse? So we're talking mileage, fuel expense, employee hours, shift coverage/scheduling, vehicle maintenance, etc. I've worked for several years in transportation and have done the scheduling and budgeting to run the Transporation Department at Sunday River. These costs in will result tremendous impact on the RPD budget.


From JSN:

Great questions! Let me do some research and I will get back to you on that on. This person sounds intelligent. This is the kind of debate I like to engage in. If people would continue to engage me in this way as opposed to attacking me, I might just change my mind on some of the issues. Iíll be in touch.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by T on Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:55 pm

Vigs wrote:One person viewing her comments and suggestion and yes I am talking about JSN will not make the final decision to close the courts.

Are you aware of the Jennifer Stowell-Norris / Jarrod Crockett connection?

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by dr on Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:06 pm

T wrote:
Vigs wrote:One person viewing her comments and suggestion and yes I am talking about JSN will not make the final decision to close the courts.

Are you aware of the Jennifer Stowell-Norris / Jarrod Crockett connection?

No. Please enlighten me. Thanks.

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by T on Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:46 pm

As they say, blood is thicker than water...

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by Vigs on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:27 am

Why elite when I already did

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Re: Rumford District Court

Post by C on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:10 pm

Former Selectman Eugene Boivin took issue with the amount of rent 11th District Court pays to the town for use of a portion of the Municipal Building. "The sad part," he said, "is that they pay only $22,000 a year to use two-thirds of the main floor. The county should
be paying a much larger amount." He said he hopes to start a movement to increase the rent, particularly, he said, because a large
segment of the renovation project will benefit the court system. source

Did he start a movement??? Did Arthur when he became selectman? Could a proposed increase in rent have influenced their choice to close this court over another??

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Re: Rumford District Court

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